Is Jesus In Charge Or Not?
A few weeks ago I preached on the calling of the disciples in Mark 1 – wondering how the disciples could just drop everything and follow Jesus. The point in that sermon was that the disciples’ response had little to do with their interior attitude, psychology, etc., but everything to do with the fact that Jesus creates what he commands. He tells the storm to shut up, it does; he tells evil spirits to come out, they do; he tells a little girl to rise from the dead, she does. He creates what he commands.
But even back then a little voice was saying to me “are you sure you wanna say that?” Something gave me some reservation – and lo and behold, here in this coming Sunday’s gospel reading is an instance where Jesus commands – and the opposite happens! Mark 1:40-45 – Jesus heals a leper, then
“Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. Mark 1:43-45 (ESV)
In this case, Jesus commands, and it was NOT so.
So what do you make of this? I suppose Arminians could use this as an example of people’s free will to obey Jesus or not. But then, is Jesus in charge? And what do we Reformed-theology types make of this?
I want to address this in this coming Sunday’s sermon – your comments, thoughts, etc. would be welcome. I promise not to quote you without your permission! 🙂